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Meat Terms

An assortment of both packaged and opened fresh meat products


This resource page contains common terms for livestock farming, butchering, meat processing, and buying:

Product Glossary:

  • Andouille: Cajun or French sausage that is prepared from lean pork and spiced with cayenne pepper, mustard, paprika, and garlic. Served cold or hot.
  • Bacon: Cured meat from the sides and belly of a pig.
  • Brisket: Cut that includes the anterior end of the sternum bones, the deep pectoral muscle, and the supraspinatus muscle. Commonly sold as either boneless flat cut or boneless point cut.
  • Chicken Breast: Cut made from the breast of a chicken.
  • Chicken Wings: Cut that includes the wing section of a chicken, flats or drumettes.
  • Filet Mignon: A boneless tenderloin steak.
  • Kielbasa: Polish sausage that is highly seasoned and typically contains garlic.
  • Lamb Leg: Cut from the back two limbs of a lamb.
  • Lamb Loin Chops: Crosswise slices from the loin roast of a lamb.
  • Lamb  Shank: Cut from the arm of a lamb, contains leg bone and part of the shoulder bone.
  • New York Strip: Cut of beef from the upper party of the short loin.
  • Pork Chops: Cut of pork loin, taken perpendicularly to the spine, may contain ribs or part of a vertebra.
  • Pork Loin: Cut of pork from the tissue along the top of the rib cage.
  • Pork Tenderloin: Cut of pork from the psoas major muscle along the central spine.
  • Porterhouse: Choice cut of beef from between the prime ribs and the sirloin.
  • Rib Eye: Cut of beef from the outer side of the ribs.
  • Round: Beef steak from the rear leg of a cow, which is divided into multiple cuts.
  • T-Bone: Cut of beef that includes the short loin and a “T-shaped” bone with meat on each side.

Industry Terms:

  • Beef: The flesh of a cow, bull, or ox, used for food.
  • Boneless: General term applied to any piece of meat presented without bones.
  • Butterfly: Term referring to a single muscle, or group of muscles that have been cut in one or more places to leave a hinge, so that the cut can be opened like butterfly wings.
  • Chop: A cut of meat including parts of the rib.
  • Curing: The process of preserving meat with salt.
  • Cut: General term used for a piece, segment, or section of an animal produced during butchering.
  • Cutlet: A relatively thin, boneless cut of meat.
  • Dark Meat: Meat from only highly used muscles in poultry, usually found in the legs.
  • Free-Range: Animals that are allowed to move freely outdoors as they are raised for market.
  • Grading: A system used to define the quality and yield of meat.
  • Marbling: The fat deposited within muscle tissue.
  • Marinated: Food that is soaked in a seasoned liquid to tenderize the meat.
  • Organic: Term given to food that is raised without various chemicals, growth enhancers, or antibiotics.
  • Poultry: Any variety of birds raised commercially for food.
  • USDA: A department of the United States government that manages various programs related to food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, and nutrition.
  • White Meat: Meat from the breast and wing muscles of birds that fly in short bursts.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Wholey’s today.